|The DMCA is being used to uncover the identity of a critical blogger. A marketing firm obtained a subpoena directed at WordPress, saying that some blogger violates their copyrights by publishing images of its employees.
WordPress.com receives thousands of DMCA takedown requests annually. The company carefully inspects all notices and defends its users against DMCA abuse. Moreover, WordPress has established its own “Hall of Shame”, where it regularly highlights the worst offenders.
Now a court-ordered DMCA subpoena requires the company to expose the identity of a user who is accused of copyright infringement. It turns out that the user runs the blog titled “The Devil Corp,” which criticizes the marketing and sales company Smart Circle and its affiliates.
Although freedom of speech goes a long way in the US, it hasn’t prevented the marketing company from targeting the blog using another way. First, it asked WordPress.com to remove infringing images copied from the Smart Circle’s own website. Those were photos of the firm’s key employees. WordPress swiftly removed the photos, and the blog owner didn’t protest this move. But he later uploaded cartoon versions of the pictures, portraying the employees in a devilish manner. In response, Smart Circle filed another DMCA takedown request with WordPress, asking to remove the modified images. However, WordPress.com refused to do so.
Smart Circle didn’t give up and asked the court for a DMCA subpoena against the blogger. In other words, Smart Circle can compel WordPress.com to hand over the personal details of the user to sue him directly. WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic has not been served with this subpoena, but given the fact that WordPress didn’t comply with the initial DMCA request, it is likely to protest the subpoena.
Industry watchers point out that this case is relevant considering the recent discussions about DMCA abuse. Indeed, lots of indie content creators and digital rights activists have complained about abuse and threats recently.
Although the marketing company hasn’t yet gone the full way (at least from a legal perspective), the question remains whether DMCA subpoenas can expose critics in similar cases, where fair use appears to be a reasonable defense.
Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.
Sunday, June 19th, 2016
|Wow those lawyers are clever. I bet you $100 that blogger works for the Smart Circle company lol|
|I think we should all click lots and lots of DMCA take down request links. Flood their system so it takes them longer to get to the things they are really trying to take down - gives me longer to get them myself||
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